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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

FOURTH JUDICIAL REGION


REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
BRANCH 119, PASAY CITY, METRO MANILA
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee
CRIMINAL CASE NO. 00-0138
FOR: RAPE

-versusGILBERT PENILLA y FRANCIA, Accused-Appellant.


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MEMORANDUM FOR RESPONDENT


Respondent, by counsel, respectfully submits this memorandum, as follows:
STATEMENT OF THE CASE:
Appellant via Notice of Appeal challenges the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CRH.C. No. 03206, which affirmed the finding of guilt beyond reasonable doubt, by the Regional Trial Court
(RTC), Branch 119, Pasay City in Criminal Case No. 00-0138, of Appellant for the crime of rape and
sentenced to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.
STATEMENT OF FACTS

1. AAA accuses Penilla of the crime of rape. AAA alleged that Penilla, on or about the 22nd day of
October, 1999, in Pasay City, Metro Manila, Philippines, by means of force, threats and
intimidation, did then and there, willfully, unlawfully and feloniously and with the use of deadly
weapon, had carnal knowledge against her will and consent
2. AAA at the time of the incident was renting a room at a boarding house in Pasay City which was
owned by Penillas grandmother. Around midnight of 22 October 1999, AAA arose from sleep and
was surprised to see Penilla by her bedside, naked and holding a kitchen knife of about eight (8)
inches long, physically overpowered and indulged AAA in carnal knowledge, forced himself on
AAA, his penis penetrating into AAAs vagina.
3. After fifteen minutes and still not sated, Penilla ordered AAA to suck his penis, but AAA refused.
For the second time, Penilla again ravished AAA for another thirty minutes. Thereafter, he left
AAAs room.
4. RTC convicted Penilla of rape and sentenced him to suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The
trial court established that the prosecution having proved beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of
accused Gilbert Penilla y Francia of the crime of rape, defined and penalized under Article 335 of
the Revised Penal Code, he is sentenced to suffer a penalty of reclusion perpetua. The said
accused is likewise ordered to indemnify the complainant AAA the amount of P50,000.00, by way
of civil liability ex-delicto.
5. On appeal likewise via Notice of Appeal before the appellate court, Penilla was adamant on his
innocence. However, the Court of Appeals affirmed the RTCs finding of guilt.

6. In connection with the physical examination of AAA, Medico-Legal Officer Dr. Annabelle L.
Soliman issued Living Case No. MG-99-1043:
CONCLUSIONS:
a. No evident sign of extragenital physical injury was noted on the body of the
subject at the time of examination.
b. Hymen, reduced to carunculae myrtiformis.
c. Vaginal orifice wide (3.0 cms. in diameter) as to allow complete penetration
by an average-sized adult Filipino male organ without producing any new
genital injury.
7. After four (4) days from the commission of rape, AAA filed a complaint for Rape against Penilla
before Barangay Chairperson Imelda San Jose of Barangay XXX, Zone XXX, Pasay City. During
the scheduled conference, only AAA appeared.
8. In a subsequent turn of events, on 30 October 1999, the grandmother of Penilla, AAAs landlady
at the time, filed a complaint for ejectment against AAA before Barangay XXX. At the conciliation
meeting for the ejectment case, Penilla was present and confronted AAA on her accusation of
rape. Penilla denied that he raped AAA, insisting that their sexual encounter was consensual and
was, in fact, even initiated by AAA. Not unexpectedly, emotions ran high, and the parties hurled
invectives at each other.

ISSUES
1. Whether accused Penilla, indeed raped complainant AAA?
2. Whether the trial court erred in giving the penalty of reclusion perpetua and the award of P 50,000
as civil indemnity?

ARGUMENTS AND DISCUSSION

1. 1ST Argument:
a.
The trial court has not erred in giving full credence to complainant AAAs testimony during
b.

trial.
Laws and jurisprudence applicable:
Rape case principles have not changed: (1) an accusation for rape can be made with

facility; it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to
disprove; (2) in view of the nature of the crime of rape where only two persons are usually
involved, the testimony of the complainant is scrutinized with extreme caution; and, (3) the
evidence for the prosecution stands or falls on its own merits and cannot be allowed to draw
strength from the weakness of the defense. People v. Brondial, 397 Phil. 663, 672 (2000); People
v. Baniguid, 394 Phil. 398, 408-409 (2000); People v. Baygar, 376 Phil. 466, 473 (1999); People
v. Sta. Ana, 353 Phil. 388, 402 (1998); People v. Auxtero, 351 Phil. 1001, 1007-1008 (1998);
People v. Balmoria, 351 Phil. 188, 198 (1998); People v. Barrientos, 349 Phil. 141, 159 (1998)
In a prosecution for rape, the complainant's credibility becomes the single most important
issue. People v. Baway, 402 Phil. 872, 882 (2001).
In rape cases the accused may be convicted based solely on the testimony of the victim,
provided, that such testimony is credible, natural, convincing and consistent with human nature
and the normal course of things. People vs. Malones, 469 Phil. 301, 318 (2004).

By the very nature of the crime of rape, conviction or acquittal depends almost entirely on
the credibility of the complainant's testimony because of the fact that, usually, only the
participants can directly testify as to its occurrence. People vs. Villaflores, 422 Phil. 776, 786
(2001); People vs. Abuan, 348 Phil. 52, 60-61 (1998); People vs. Fortich, 346 Phil. 596, 614
(1997).
Since normally only two persons are privy to the commission of rape, the evaluation of
the evidence thereof ultimately revolves around the credibility of the complaining witness. People
vs. Soriano, 339 Phil. 144, 149 (1997).
c.

Analysis:
AAAs testimony during trial remained steadfast and unyielding, even on cross-

examination and questioning by the trial court. Quite apparent from the record of the trial court,
that AAA never wavered in her claim that Penilla raped her. Even after the lapse of the time when
Penilla evaded arrest, AAA remained resolute in her desire to seek justice for the crime done to
her.
In stark contrast to AAAs steadfast, clear and unwavering testimony is the fickle
testimony of Penilla who changed his answer even when confronted by physical evidence
showing the contrary, and also by prior assertions contained in his affidavits.
On the basis that the evaluation of the evidence in the commission of rape revolves
around the credibility of the complaining witness and the steadfast and unwavering claims of the
complaining witness during trial in contrast to the fickle testimony of the accused, the Court must
give full credence to the testimony of the private complainant.
d.

Discussion:
As discussed in People v. Rubio, well-entrenched is the doctrine that the matter of

evaluating the credibility of witnesses depends largely on the assessment of the trial court. When
it comes to credibility, the trial courts assessment deserves great weight, and is even conclusive
and binding, if not tainted with arbitrariness or oversight of some fact or circumstance of weight
and influence. Thus, appellate courts rely heavily on the weight given by the trial court on the
credibility of a witness as it had a first-hand opportunity to hear and see the witness testify.

2. 2nd Argument:
a. The silence in the prosecutions story on account of any physical struggle is not
suggestive that rape has not been committed.
b. Laws and jurisprudence applicable
Physical resistance need not be established in rape when threats and intimidation are
employed, and the victim submits herself to her attacker because of fear. People v. Silvano, 368
Phil. 676, 696 (1999).
Failure to shout or offer tenacious resistance does not make voluntary the victims
submission to the perpetrators lust. Physical resistance is not the sole test to determine whether
a woman involuntarily succumbed to the lust of an accused; it is not an essential element of rape
People v. Arraz, 570 SCRA 136, 146 (2008)
Rape victims react differently. Some may offer strong resistance while others may be too
intimidated to offer any resistance at all. People v. Madeo, 602 SCRA 425, 440-441(2009).
The use of a weapon, by itself, is strongly suggestive of force or at least intimidation, and
threatening the victim with a knife, much more poking it at her, as in this case, is sufficient to bring
her into submission. People v. Tubat, 664 SCRA 712(2012).
c.

Analysis
In rape cases, the law does not impose upon the private complainant the burden of

proving resistance. The victims testimony, when credible, becomes indisputable evidence in the
crime of rape, where circumstances thereat are privy between the accused and the complainant.
As so stated in People vs. Arraz, physical resistance is not the sole test to determine
whether a woman succumbed to the lust of an accused, more so, it is not an essential element of
rape, and that failure of prosecution to provide evidence of physical resistance is immaterial to the
case.

3. 3rd Argument:
a. The moral character of the victim in rape cases is not determinative of the victims
credibility.
b. Laws and jurisprudence applicable:
Article 266-A. Rape; When and How Committed. Rape is committed:
1) By a man who have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following
circumstances:
a) Through force, threat or intimidation;
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In rape cases, the moral character of the victim is immaterial. Rape may be committed
not only against single women and children but also against those who are married, middle-aged,
separated, or pregnant. Even a prostitute may be a victim of rape. People v. Espino, Jr., 554
SCRA 682, 698 (2008)
c.

Analysis
The morality of the victim is not an element in the crime of rape, unlike those of crimes

such as seduction, whereby victims should be proved to be of good repute, as the same is an
element determinative of the crime of seduction.
As clearly espoused in People vs. Espino, the moral character of the victim is immaterial
in rape cases, as what is determinative of the crime of rape is the articulation of Article 266-A of
the RPC, that rape is committed by a man having carnal knowledge of a woman through force,
threat or intimidation. Nowhere in said provision makes the moral character of the woman
determinative of establishing the commission of rape.

4. 4th Argument:
a. Medical examination of victim not indispensable to prove rape.
b. Laws and jurisprudence applicable
A doctors certificate is merely corroborative in character and not an indispensable
requirement in proving the commission of rape. People v. Castro, G.R. No.172874, 17 December
2008, 574 SCRA 244, 254-255
c.

Analysis
A medical examination of the victim is not indispensable in a prosecution for rape

inasmuch as the victims testimony alone, if credible, is sufficient to convict the accused of the
crime.
5. 5th Argument:
a. Delay of the victim in reporting the commission of the crime of rape is not availing as
defense.
b. Laws and jurisprudence applicable
Only when the delay is unreasonable or unexplained may it work to discredit the
complainant. People v. Navarette, Jr., G.R. No. 191365, 22 February 2012, 666 SCRA 689, 704.
c.

Analysis
Jurisprudence is replete with holdings that delay in revealing the commission of a crime

such as rape does not necessarily render such charge unworthy of belief. This is because the
victim may choose to keep quiet rather than expose her defilement to the cruelty of public
scrutiny.
The complainant reported the incident to the authorities at the immediate possible time.
While it may appear that the complainant reported the incident four days after it happened before
the barangay authorities, it is understandable that she could be taking [her] time thinking whether
she would report the incident or not and initially just wanted to confront the accused why he
sexually assaulted the complainant. The belated reporting of the incident does not cast doubt on
her credibility. This was, however, triggered by the word war between her and the accused before
the barangay authorities thereby influencing her decision to file the case before the police
authorities. Although she continued to stay in the premises, this was due to the fact that she had
not yet been reimbursed her expenses for the repair of her room.
6. 6th Argument:
a. The trial court did not gravely err in imposing the penalty of reclusion perpetua with award
of civil liability of P 50,000.00 to the victim.
b. Laws and jurisprudence applicable

ART. 266-B. Penalties. - Rape under paragraph 1 of the next preceding article shall be
punished by reclusion perpetua. Whenever the rape is committed with the use of a deadly
weapon or by two or more persons, the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death.
Moral damages in rape cases should be awarded without need of showing that the victim
suffered trauma of mental, physical, and psychological sufferings constituting the basis thereof.
These are too obvious to still require their recital at the trial by the victim, since we even assume
and acknowledge such agony as a gauge of her credibility. People vs. Tamano. G.R. No. 188855,
8 December 2010, 637 SCRA 672, 689
c.

Analysis
It is proper to award moral damages to AAA in the amount of P50,000.00 although the

lower courts were silent thereon in their respective disquisitions. Moral damages in rape cases
should be awarded without need of showing that the victim suffered trauma of mental, physical,
and psychological sufferings constituting the basis thereof.
As stipulated in ART. 266-B of the RPC, imposing the penalties for the crime rape with
other qualifying or aggravating circumstances, the trial court has not erred in imposing the penalty
of reclusion perpetua, as the same is based on the penalty prescribed by law.
PRAYER

WHEREFORE, it is most respectfully prayed that the Court must uphold the decision of the trial
court and the appellate court in its finding of the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.
Other kinds of relief, just and equitable under the premises are likewise prayed for.

Pasay City, Philippines, March 23, 2013.

CITY PROSECUTOR